Can Comics in the UK Survive 2 Price Rises?

According to Rich Johnston at CBR’s Lying in the Gutters, when UK readers go in to the comic shop they may find they’ll have to pay extra for their comics. Not due to a price rise by the publishers (which is slowly happening as seen in recent Avengers and Hulk solicitations by Marvel), but due to Diamond UK adjusting their Prices to compensate for the recent crash in the value of the pound.

In July 2008 £1 would buy you $2.00, Five months later £1.00 now buys you $1.48. A huge 25% drop in just 150 days.

Obviously Diamond UK could not sustain such a change in the prices without passing the extra costs on to their retail customer.

In my comic shop in Southampton, I’ve been used to paying £2.15 for a $2.99 comic. £2.45 for a $3.50 comic and £2.85 for a $3.99 comic. I’m guessing that from tomorrow it’s going to be around £2.50, £2.80, and £3.25.

Now think of the British readers who have been reading New Avengers; they’ve been used to paying £2.15 for the comic. With the exchange rate change and Marvel’s price increase (from $2.99 to $3.99), they’ll now be be paying $3.25. Thats an incredible 50% increase.

ICV2 publish estimated figures for comic sales every month. These do not include sales in the UK, but it’s been said before around the net that Diamond UK orders add an extra 10-15% on top of the ICV2 estimated numbers. I can only see these numbers deplete considerably over the next few years if the Pound does not recover.

For the first time since I’ve been reading comics, I genuinely fear for the sustainability of the industry in this UK, and can only plead with the Publishers and “Power’s that Be” at the comics publishers to remember that there are 99 other price points between $2.99 and $3.99. PLEASE find a price point that benefits BOTH sides of the Atlantic.

  1. Actually Paul I think in the Uk we’ve not always had the benefit of the favourable exchange rate either – my local shop has been charging £1.85 for a $2.99 comic, (which means they actually dropped their prices) – if you’ve been charged £2.25 when the exchange rate was favourable and now it’s changed prices go up still more then I’m not sure it’s benefiting the comic companies!Paul Grist

  2. Prices have vary wildly around the country, depending on location and competition.You’ve been lucky paying £1.85 for a $2.99 comic, as I’ve seen some shops in London have charged in the region of £2.60 for the same comic. I’ve paid £2.15 for a number of years, during that time the pound strengthened from £1 = $1.60 to a peak of £1 = £2.11, so yes the comic shop has taken advantage.But living in Southampton I do not have a choice on where to shop. The next nearest comic shops are in Poole or Andover and the potential cost of Petrol to get to the other shops would negate that Price difference.I really hope my specific shop decide they don’t need to keep up the same margins.

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